In loving memory
Ed’s note: Nineteen years ago, on 2 February 1996, then GUIDEPOST Social Editor Jean Allen, who passed away in September 2014, featured Ward Wallace in her column “Who’s Who, Where and Why.” The article sums up Ward beautifully and as a tribute to him we are reprinting it here.
One of the most colorful personalities on the GUIDEPOST staff is Ward Wallace – a contributor, columnist and former Editor of the magazine.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, he attended Hofstra College [now University] on Long Island, where he received his BA degree in Journalism. Always an enthusiastic sportsman, he was Captain of the Wrestling Team at Hofstra and a member of the baseball team.
He went into the U.S. Marine Corps as a volunteer and served for four years as an officer. On return to civilian life he joined Benton and Bowles advertising agency and among other activities, he was Public Relations Account Executive for the Seattle World’s Fair held in 1962.
His excellent work at Seattle resulted in his being called to be a member of the Kelly Nason team working on the Spanish Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65. While he was Account Executive there, he met his future wife, Conchita. “I was her boss then, but I have never been since,” he says.
When he was named Public Relations Director of the Sotogrande golf and tennis complex in southern Spain, he spoke no Spanish, but his wife Conchita, who was born in Cuba, acted as his secretary and interpreter. He soon learned the lingo and no one has been able to stop him since.
He handled Communications and was Tournament Director of La Manga golf complex and during that time he organized five Spanish Open golf tournaments and four International Pro-Am tournaments. Subsequently he returned to Sotogrande as International Marketing Director and was responsible for the rest of Spain as well. He later resumed his general Public Relations activities.
As a young man in Spain he had a fling at being a bullfighter and was known as “El Niño de Manhattan,” but his wife put her foot down on that activity after a young cow knocked him down, leaving her footprint on his jacket – the cow, not his wife.
Both colleagues and GUIDEPOST readers seem in complete agreement that Ward’s wonderful sense of humor and his fun-loving ways make him an excellent companion and writer.
DAN SAYS . . .
I first met Ward after we published an article on Sotogrande of which he was public relations chief executive. He came to Madrid and we became fast friends. In 1970 he became the managing editor of Guidepost. He was a very good editor, indeed, with a great sense of humor and we spent many hours together.
Even after he went on to become sales manager of La Manga Campo de Golf we still kept in touch and he continued to write many humorous articles for Guidepost.
We will sorely miss our great friend and colleague.
WARD ON INCREDIBLE WARD
In his autobiographical Confessions of a Name-Dropping Junkie (Hollis Books, 1999) Ward drew on a lifetime of personal and professional experiences to turn name-dropping convincingly into a noble occupation.
Ward lived in Spain with his Cuban wife Conchita and their children. In his last years his life was replete with the exciting memories of bullfighting, golf, tennis and writing to Bill Clinton. On the more active side of it, Ward, like the true friend and colleague that he was, would attend all the Guidepost gatherings that his health would let him, whether packed parties or just lunches à deux with our peerless publisher Dan Lowell who was an unfailing friend to Ward.
Here are some of the anecdotes of the beloved name-dropping junkie that appear on the back cover of his book.
• had dinner at famed Beverly Hills restaurant, Romanoff’s, in the company of legendary owner “Prince Mike” Romanoff himself.
• was forced to bow out of a dinner with Aristotle Onassis and Maria Callas on board the Greek magnate’s yacht, the “Christina”
• converted Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Streets into a Pony Express route for a day
• once risked a knockout at the hands of then world heavyweight champion Joe Frazer
• was Tournament Director for the Spanish Open golf championship when Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest pro golf players for all time, won it in 1975
• partnered Tony Jacklin for one round in a Pro-Am golf tournament and nearly caused the former British and US Open champion to give up the game
• was referred to as the bullfighting “El Niño de Manhattan” by ABC, Spain’s oldest daily newspaper
• had a brief pen pal relationship with Bill Clinton
• had participated as an executive in three World’s Fairs: Seattle, New York, and Seville (1962, 1964, 1992)
I would just like to add as a personal note that I’ll always be very thankful for all the unselfish support Ward gave me when I was starting at Guidepost.
We kept looking for you at the last Guidepost Christmas party, Ward. But you didn’t show up.
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